Colorful cultural sketches
The great wave of the east. Courtesy of the artist.
Is a Yemeni artist who draws his inspiration from Saudi and Yemeni heritage and folklore. His art captures the soul of the culture, expressing the beauty of the diverse traditions and people. He participated in several art exhibitions in the Kingdom and has proven that a real artist doesn’t have to get a formal education in art to produce masterpieces. In this interview, we were lucky enough to learn more about Obaid’s art, passion, and his love for sketches.
Sketching for me is the way I feel most comfortable expressing my thoughts and feelings just like how writers express their thoughts through words, and singers express their feelings through sounds and music and so on. People around me notice that I don't talk much but I think most of the things I want to say are said through sketching and making art in general.
What's so special about sketching I think is its purity. Unlike the final and polished artworks, Sketches are messy and the lines are usually rough. Sketching is the first thought, the first draft, the ignition for something bigger.
I always remember myself drawing, even as a kid, I always had pencils and colors around me. I think It became something serious after high school as I started to sketch on any white surface I found, even the back of the waste stock papers and bills at work.
In my themes and stories I have always been fascinated by culture and the relationship between the place and the people who live in it. How does the place affect people's outfits, jewelry, clothes and their residents, as well as the effect people have on the place itself by changing the surroundings to their needs. I am also fascinated by surrealism. So I thought why not try to put these two in the mixer and see what comes out. This is how my latest works came to life, it's culture in a surreal way I think.
I like most of my artworks but I would say my favorite is a project I did about two years ago. It was a collaboration with another artist friend Muhannad Bharri (he also makes great sketches and drawings). He is a professional nurse dealing with patients suffering psychological illnesses. So with his knowledge I came up with three artworks trying to picture some of these illnesses and the way patients feel. The artworks are Decision, Depression and Hallucination. I think I will get back to that project and make new sketches and artworks.
Actually I did several book covers. The only one that got spread around is the one I did for "Alchemist" by the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. The whole thing was kind of a surreal experience. The novel "was" my favorite novel and to be able to do the artwork for its cover and see it on the shelves of bookstores is still incomprehensible to me. I did all of Paulo Coelho's books in the Arabic release. I also did two book covers for Saudi author Salman Altayari and one book cover for an Egyptian author and I definitely will do more if I get the chance.